I'm trying to write a professional letter to someone with whom I am extremely upset. While I feel that sometimes words that are considered offensive are the best words to express certain feelings, they have no place in a more professional situation. That being said, is there a more acceptable term to replace "dicking around" in this case? The meaning is that of taking advantage of someone and wasting the person's time.

"I don't appreciate the way I have been dicked around during your hiring process."

What would be a more professional way to word this without losing the irate undertones?

closed as primarily opinion-based by Mr. Shiny and New 安宇, ab2 ReinstateMonicaNow, Nathaniel, jimm101, user140086 Mar 3 '16 at 3:29

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    Would it really be a good idea to write such a letter in the first place? You never know when you will meet them again in other places professionally. The world is too small... – user140086 Mar 2 '16 at 16:28
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    I think 'mucking around' comes close. – Ravi Mar 2 '16 at 16:29
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    I'm voting to close this as primarily opinion based. "what should I write" isn't really on topic here. That said, instead of saying something like that, just be specific about how you were mistreated. Explain it dispassionately and logically. – Mr. Shiny and New 安宇 Mar 2 '16 at 16:32
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    Assuming you really want to write it, you could say something like I don't appreciate the way I have been inconvenienced, or I don't appreciate the unprofessional way in which my application has been dealt with or some such. That being said, I often write irate emails, and then, having got my frustration off my chest, don't hit 'send'.. – Charl E Mar 2 '16 at 16:32
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    @Mr.ShinyandNew安宇 the basic question is "what is a polite alternative to being dicked around that keeps the irate undertones". That seems reasonably objective and the OP has provided enough context for an answer to be given. – terdon Mar 2 '16 at 16:42

In my experience disappointment is one word that is not taken lightly in a professional context. You could write something similar to the below sentence.

**Hi Peter - I am extremely disappointed with the hiring process I was involved in. I don't think any consideration was given to the time and convenience of the candidates. It was a frustrating experience. Hope this feedback is put to constructive use. **

  • I like this the most. I am disappointed in the process. Not really an answer to the synonym for "dicked around" though which was my initial question. – stephenbayer Mar 2 '16 at 18:41

Perhaps something like:

"I do not appreciate how inconsiderate you were of me and my time during the hiring process."

I feel like that is what the root issue is - they seemed to not care about wasting your time for a fool's errand basically. They did not consider you nor your time as being important.


This hews more toward professional etiquette than language and usage, but I'll suggest that the most productive direction is to maintain the rhetorical high road in such communication.

What is it that you wish to accomplish?

  • Is it to keep the door open for a possible future opportunity?
  • Is it to let the other person know that you are angry?
  • Is it to make the other person feel guilty about having disappointed you?

You will need to choose your words to suit your objective.

Assuming the first case, I might write,

Peter - I am sorry that you were not able to give my application the serious consideration I felt that it merited. I think that the time and energy that I put into the application showed my interest, and I hope you will understand that was disappointed by its reception. I would welcome your feedback, in hope of a better outcome next time.

Frankly, it is very easy to move and ignore an angry person, so unless I am in a position to make and carry out dire threats, I would not let such a person know of my anger.

I also think that there's very little to be gained by the third option. If he's a good person, "Peter" will probably remain convinced that he handled your application correctly, no matter how much you carry on. If he's a schmuck, he won't care that you're upset.

  • None of the above. I feel I owe them an explanation as to why I would drop out of the process after they have spent money and time in recruiting me. The hiring process has taken a month so far, with other companies courting me, and yes, I'm a bit upset, but I don't want that to be the main focus. I just want to apologize, say this is the reason I'm dropping out and leave it at that. I keep getting told it is at this process or that process, and I'm wasting time I could be working. I've already signed a contract to be hired, and waiting to find when I'll start actually working. – stephenbayer Mar 2 '16 at 18:39
  • That's different, of course. Having more of the circumstances in hand refocuses the question. The tone of your comment above looks about right; "frustrating process" is probably a fair substiitute for 'dicking around.' – Rob_Ster Mar 3 '16 at 0:57

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